March 31, 2004

Examining the golf course purchase

Today's golf course article does what I'd hoped the Journal would do in the Our Towns section - take a deeper look at an issue that's been building for some time. The article captures some of the division on the Town Board over the issue, and talks with the architectural firm the board hired to examine its prospects as a course. It also, I'm afraid, gives town board member Steve Stelick a chance to make it sound like the purchase won't cost town taxpayers anything:

According to Stelick, funds for the purchase would be taken from the town's reserves.
"We wouldn't finance it and we wouldn't raise taxes for it."

That statement seems squarely focused on the short-term impact, as the reserves represent taxes already paid in, held as a buffer against the prospect of raising taxes later. It looks like I need to do some research on the level of the reserves held by the Town of Dryden over the past few years to see how much of a potential impact this would be. A $350,000 golf course might not seem like much compared to millions held in reserve, but when you compare it to this year's tax levy for the entire town of $846,000, it becomes a much bigger number.

At the same time, I'm very happy to see the town taking an active interest in buying and hopefully preserving green space in the town. It could potentially set a precedent that opens new possibilities for the future. The recreation possibilities are definitely also worth considering. This might be a case where the Town can take direct action to improve the lives of its citizens.

Posted by simon at March 31, 2004 8:44 AM in , , ,
Note on photos